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The POWER and PowerPC General Discussion / News Thread


Hmm. This thread just went quiet again. I hear the Talos II review from Wendell is getting ready to drop. You think it may be this weekend?

I also have a Blackbird on preorder and I expect to do a video review once I have my system put together.




LTT says they have a video on the way showing off the Blackbird board when they were at the IBM Think conference, I wonder if they will release at about the same time…



@SwimSwimHungry There was a bit more activity with Daniel Kolesa (and Karel Gardas) on Twitter hacking together some non-standard cooling for Tyan POWER8 gear, if you want to be amused by that. I grouped all I could find into a Twitter “Moment” thing here:



I saw this post from Linus… but I wonder if he is even going through with this. A board like this isn’t exactly targeted towards his demographic.

To that end, he did cover the RISC-V dev board, so anything’s possible I suppose. :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I don’t exactly know the filming-publishing lag time on their channel; for all I know, it might be visible on Floatplane already?

Updates on Talos II / Blackbird

They have a screenshot of Godot running on Power:

I also forgot to mention that Raptor is especially optimistic about the state of the NIC firmware reverse engineering (though apparently the wiki page is a bit out of date):

IBM cooler mounting/socket retention system

Daniel Kolesa is successfully using the 3U HSF (heatsink+fan) that Raptor sells on his Tyan POWER8 system:

Looking at images of the different sockets, and their heatsink mounting, I’m starting to think that it’s probably all the same mounting system. For larger sockets, the screws attaching the mounting clamps to the PCB change position, but the clamps themselves always appear to be the same distance apart:


POWER9 Sforza

POWER9 LaGrange:

POWER9 Monza (source):

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@wendell In a recent Adata NVMe drive review, you mention testing out SR-IOV on a benefactor-leased Firepro S7150.

Any plans to try that out with the Talos? or is the board already on its way back to Raptor?

I assume the userland special sauce of the AMDGPU Pro driver is probably x86 only, but the SR-IOV support would be in the kernel part and therefore opensource, right?

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Power Saving Idle States in POWER9 Chips

An Overview of Idle States in the POWER9 Processor
Interesting IBM wiki/blog page about how different idle states or STOP levels function.

Linus of LTT at IBM Think

There is an unlisted video, uploaded on March 14, but it is on IBM Systems’ channel, and doesn’t mention Raptor’s products. Found via this tweet

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So Linus has the video up on Floatplane - It’s just a quick overview video of Power CPU’s.

Still I’m impressed with the coverage.

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Not sure if this is something anyone is interested in, but putting it out here anyways:
I have a Powerbook G4 Titanium lying around. My wife saved it from a former employer. It’s working and i did get Debian to work on it. Battery is dead but everything else seems fine.
I’d be willing to give this away for free if anyone here has a use for it. I’m in Germany and would only ask for shipping. It’s currently running Mac OS 10.idon’tknow.
Just if someone needs a machine for testing stuff or such. I have no use for it after having tinkered with it a bit for fun.



Well I’ll be darned. Linus’ video went up, and it wasn’t bad at all!

Alright Wendell. You’re up next. :wink:



Oh, I would love to see someone like you set up a store or trading post for gear! I love this stuff, but I am not as well versed in this arena. My knowledge dates to the introduction of Yellow Dog, then I changed careers. Learning all over again.



PFF you think I’d have time to dig up hardware enough FOR a store?

tho an online shop selling modded powerbook G4’s mith linux on them could be… Interesting.

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No, not really (on the time). I would just love to see some stuff circulating that came from someone, that I was sure they weren’t talking out their ass. Beyond that somewhere (someone) for you to unload one project, to move on to the next. And get this awesome content you keep providing along the way. You always post content right up my alley, that makes me say, I wish I had a little more time, money, knowledge, hell, ROOM for the next project. I have been getting kinda burnout on “mainstream”, that was never really my thing to begin with. Really just got back into anything computer related, after more than a 10 year hiatus.

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Gotta keep it creative I mean…

I started doing so much weird shit because most everyone that had a project on here was so poindexter about it. The most creative one was a gaming pc with a titan in a suitcase.

FFS I thought people would have more interest in demoscene than this but I guess not.

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Semi off topic but, so cool. Thanks for that one! I love it.

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Nice to see it up finally!

Though Linus does confuse the specs a bit, when he’s describing chips, he says all the chips have 44 PCIe lanes; since he mentions quad channel, you can assume he’s specifically talking about Sforza, but Sforza has 48 PCIe lanes, not 44.

Not that I really blame him, the chip vs module vs scale up/out differences can be confusing.

I’ve made myself an LTT account to post on their forum, hopefully I’ll get a response from Dylanc1500 (he claims to have gotten Portal 2 running on POWER9).



Its a good os. I’m hoping to have it on a few machines pelmanently in the next few months



I heard this stuff does FreeBSD. So, what should I buy?



Info links for FreeBSD on POWER9

The FreeBSD support is still sort of in the works according to the Raptor community wiki:
and FreeBSD’s own wiki:

Official FreeBSD PowerPC page is not all that helpful:

System advice


I’m not under any illusions of swimming in money, but I would still say to go for an 8-core if you can; since it’s the best per core value:

Cores Price (USD) USD/core L2/core L3/core
4 375 ~94 512 KiB 10 MiB
8 595 ~74 512 KiB 10 MiB
18 1425 ~79 256 KiB 5 MiB
22 2625 ~119 256 KiB 5 MiB

The L2 & L3 difference is because cache is shared between core pairs. The silicon is designed for 24 cores, so once you bin for less than 12 cores, you can disable only one half of each pair, but keep the full cache amount.


They sell bundles that give a discount for mainboard+CPU or mainboard+CPU+heatsink. Unless you are jerry-rigging something custom for cooling, you will need the heatsink they sell.

The bundles represent what you minimally need, since cases, PSUs, and other components aren’t specific to POWER9. See:



I’d love to see an unlocked xell vs like power7.